Writings of a teachermom, choosing to stay home with her kids, while loathing all domestic responsibilities! In late Aug. 2008, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiation, I was given theall clear. However, in the late summer of 2008, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which metasticized to other areas.

Monday, July 31, 2006


When I'm not a stay-at-home mom, I'm a middle school teacher. So I know a little bit about attitudes. And there is nothing that gets under my skin more than rude kids. One thing I always said is that my kids will be polite. Of course I want them to be smart, and ambitious and leaders, etc. But most of all, I want them to have manners. So from before they can even speak, I teach them to say, please, thank you, sorry, etc. Max has to use the last one frequently, as he's been whopping kids on the head with any racket he can find, or walking up to kids and bumping into them with his belly. Not sure what I'm supposed to do about this aggressive behavior, but he does sound so darn cute when he apoligizes and gives his victim a hug. Being a little bit older and "wiser" Cameron has now become the politeness policeman. He will sulk FOREVER if someone hurts him and doesn' t say sorry. Or we have conversations like this: "Cameron, go put your dirty clothes in the hamper." He just stares at me with a goofy grin. "Cameron," my voice elevates with frustation. "What did I just tell you to do!"
Again, he stares at me blankly, but patiently.
Impatiently I yell his name once more, and realizing I'm about to blow, he calmly says in a sing-song voice, "You forgot to say something."
Then I sigh and let out a "PLEASE pick up your clothes and put them in the hamper."
And he skips off joyfully to do his chore. He doesn't quite get the difference between me asking him to do something and me giving him an order. And since they say kids learn by example, I guess I'll oblige him with a please for every order....for now. Although, he's constantly whispering to me, "Mommy, how come Daddy never says please?" Good question! Max has manners so ingrained into him that he actually thinks that "Yes, please" is one word. "Max, do you want some cereal?" "Yesplease." "Max, do you want to go outside?" "Yesplease." "Eeewww! Max, do you have a poopy diaper?" "Yesplease."

Ella still has time before I expect to hear pleases and thank yous from her. But since she's almost 8 months, it is about time I introduce some baby sign language to her. And the first sign I plan to teach her is, "More please."

My kids might be monsters sometimes, but at least they're monsters with manners.

(The pictures of the boys were from tonight when we made cupcakes. Melvin thought it would be more fun to use food coloring for icing. Cameron thought it was hilarious that his icing looked like Ella's dirty diapers.)

Saturday, July 29, 2006


It has been said that men are not good at multi-tasking, but women are. These people don't know my husband. He can be on hold with the bank while talking to the hospital...all after getting zero hours of sleep the night before. Just one of the many reasons why I love him.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Just Chillin

It was 98 degrees today and HUMID! In weather like this, I like to just hang out in some air conditioning. (Actually, I like to relax on a raft in a pool, but with 3 little kids, this is just impossible). However, my kids' idea of hanging out involves one thing: making huge messes in every room in the house. I was tired of cleaning up, so we ventured outside…not far…just on the back deck…but away from any box of blocks, puzzles or legos to be emptied and mixed together into every large pot and bowl I own.

To keep cool in the scorching humidity, we decided to play some ice games.
First we wanted to see who could melt their piece of ice on the glass table the fastest.

Then we raced some cubes across the table.
Next we decided to see who could slide their ice closest to the edge without it toppling off.
Cameron then tried to see how far he could spit his cube.
While Max decided it was more fun just to throw his ice off the deck to see it crash on the patio below.

Ella on the other hand had no interest in what the boys were doing, and really understood the true meaning of staying cool indoors WITHOUT driving mommy crazy by dragging out every toy in sight. Just looking at the fiasco they were creating caused her to literally spit with disgust!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Growing Boys

Today Cameron had his 5 year old check-up. We were both very nervous about this since he was going to have to get his immunizations. Last year Cameron had a complete breakdown and wouldn't stop screaming after they gave him a shot. And yesterday he started crying just thinking about the pain he was going to have to endure again. You see, Cameron cries his eyes out for any little scratch, so an actual puncture into his skin is pure torture according to him. Plus, it didn't help that one of his friends (who is only four) told him that the 5 year old shots hurt really, really bad.

I'm so pleased to report that he did incredibly well. Which was really a relief, because with Ella fussing since we waited over 20 minutes for the doctor to arrive , and Max cranky the entire time we were in the office because he feared his turn to have his ears checked (yet again) was coming up, I physically was not going to be able to comfort him, and mentally I don’t know how I was going to be able to handle more screaming. The nurse gave him the shot and had him count with her as she was doing it. Cameron started to wince but the counting stopped him from crying, and then we all just cheered and laughed. The second shot went just as well. I was really proud of him.

Max also had a “big boy” moment. As he often does, while being dressed, he ran off before I could put on his shorts and I didn’t have the energy to chase him. So he spent most of the morning in a t-shirt and a diaper, until it somehow dropped to his ankles. I decided to just put him on the toilet to see if he could produce anything. He’s had some moments on the potty, but would sit there for a mere second, then proclaim to be “All Done!” and clap for himself. Today he crawled up on the porcelain bowl, which in itself is an interesting sight to view. Just like his brother did at his age, Max prefers to climb up and balance himself on the big pot, as opposed to a toddler-size one. The way he does it makes you think he’s going to fall in, but he manages to stay above water. Today, he actually started to pee. He looked at the stream coming out and started cracking up so loud that he halted his urine. Then he continued, and again, couldn’t stop laughing. It took four attempts to finally finish peeing in between all his giggling.

When the day comes when he actually poops in the toilet, I fear he’ll laugh so hard he really will fall in.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Too Two

Over our vacation, on July 10th, Max turned two. While doing grocery shopping, I sent my husband to order him a cake. I figured he’d pick out a Dora, or Diego, or Teletubbies style. Instead, he ordered this one. “Did you order one for you or for Max?” I asked him. “What? It has fruit on top. Kids like fruit.” Yeah, okay. It was mighty good, though. And Max was more interested in eating the strawberries on top than the actual cake.

Two is such an interesting age. The “terrible” part certainly has surfaced. Now when I tell him to do something, like brush his teeth, or put on his PJs, he screams NO at the top of his lungs, over and over, as he runs around and tries to “hide.” He seems to think that if his eyes are hidden, then I can’t see him. Also, I’ve been using the Timeout method more and more, since he actually will now sit in the corner. Except he sits there and seems to be enjoying himself humming away, just waiting to be released. When I come over and tell him to look at me, he closes his eyes. It’s at this point when I must physically sit on my hands for fear what I might do with them!

Along with the terrible two, is a terrific two. He is talking up a storm, repeating everything I say. (Which is why I never swear around my children). He’s like a little echo walking behind me. And he’s also been entertaining himself more lately. The past few days he has been playing “cook” and “bartender” with all of my unbreakable dishes low enough for him to steal from the kitchen cabinets.
And he also sings. Quite loud sometimes. And dances. And runs around like a chicken with his head cut off screaming bloody murder just because he thinks it’s fun.

The other night when doing the bedtime struggle, he said, “Mommy!” “What?” I responded in frustration. “I love you.” My heart melted. “I love you, too.” Silence. “Mommy!” “What Max?” “ I love you.” “Love you, too.” Silence. “Mommy!” …etc. etc. about 10 more times!!!

I love him to death, but sometimes I wish they had boarding preschools!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Cooking 101

My dear friend Libby (who seems to make everything from scratch due to her son's food allergies) asked me if I ever cooked.

Well, that really does depend on ones definition of "cook."

I've made it quite clear to my friends that I'm no Martha Stewart, nor do I ever aspire to be. Cooking, cleaning, making cute crafts....not my thing. BUT, it's not like we order out every night, nor do I ever serve frozen TV dinners. Last night I made some corn (frozen of course), some rice (the boil in a bag kind) and pork loin chops...browning them in a skillet with some poultry spice. I even added some basalmic wine sauce (made from some powder packet). So it' s not like I'm a total klutz in the kitchen.

But the reason my friend asked if I ever cooked was because she has a garden (gardening...yet another domestic skill I don't posses), and she had grown some HUGE zuchinni (her degree is in agriculture) that she was looking to give away.

Sure I'll take it, I said excitedly, as if I had some great plans for it.

So now it sits on my counter top, awaiting my culinary attention. I'm not even sure if I like zuchinni! Someone sent me a recipe for zuchinni bread, but I'll have more left over. Another person told me to season it and grill it...except I'd have no idea when it would be cooked thoroughly, and I'd probably end up charing the green monster.

Any other ideas of what I'm supposed to do with this oversized vegetable? Send them my way!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Truth revealed

Whenever I change Max or Ella's diaper, Cameron always wants to see the poop. ?????????
Recently while changing Max, Cameron said, "Mom, that thing under his penis looks like a brain."

Maybe that's why they say men are always thinking with their dicks.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Boredom Buster

I’ve confessed before that although I am a Reading/Writing teacher, I do love my TV. After my Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy and Apprentice ended, I felt a strange void. The kids would be in bed, and I found myself so bored, that I even resorted to cleaning up the kitchen. I know I should have taken advantage of the forced cease of my addiction by actually reading some of the book son my Want to Read shelf, or finish some of the educational journals I had started, or logging in some extra miles on the treadmill. Should is the key word here.

But I can now say with enthusiasm that I have a new show to look forward to. Fellow blogger A little leeway has tried to encourage me to watch Project Runway, but I never could remember which station was Bravo. But while on vacation, I happened upon a marathon of last season’s Project Runway. Now there’s how to watch a show…all in one day. I only picked up on the last three, but it was enough to get me hooked. Fashion, drama, odd individuals, beautiful clothes, unique challenges, deadlines, etc. And following the repeat of last year’s episodes was the beginning of this new season. What an assortment of individuals.

Wednesday evenings I now have a date with the TV. It’s not too late to join me on this mindless pursuit of entertainment.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Beach Bum No More

Beach Vacation Before Kids
Voluntarily, wake up early, go for run on boardwalk, come home and get ready for the beach.
Bring towels, beach tag, chair, and some books/magazines.
Arrive at beach by 9:30.
Except for some lunch on the boardwalk, spend all day lounging, taking at least one long walk, sleeping, relaxing and READING!
Leave beach around 6 PM.

Beach Vacation with 3 little ones.
Wake up early to cries of a little one (or 2)
If another adult is around and awake, go run on the boardwalk.
Come home and get ready for the beach.
Find dry bathing suits to dress kids. Attempt to apply sunscreen on all three children because doing it on a sandy beach is nearly impossible. Chase 2 year old through house as he screams NO at the top of his lungs as you try to smear lotion on his body.
Make sandwiches for everyone, pack drinks, make bottles, gather swim diapers and regular diapers, plus an extra pair of clothes for everyone just in case they're needed.
By the time all this is done, it's now naptime for the toddler who was up late the night before and the 5 year old is now hungry and begs to eat his sandwich early. Let toddler sleep and 5 year old eat or bring crabby children to the beach.
Gather beach toys, large sheet, umbrella, beach chair, towels, beach tags and load everyone in the car or make long walk to the beach, balancing everything.
While on beach, keep baby from grabbing and eating sand, watch 5 year old do dolphin dives in frozen salty water while witnessing 2 year old pile handsful of wet sand on his head. Guard sandy sandwiches as children eat to stop seagulls from snatching the food directly from their hands. Keep 2 year old from running onto everyone's towels while preventing 5 year old from chasing wind-blown soccer ball 1/2 mile down the beach while keeping infant in shade. Admire 2 and 5 year old's interest in jelly fish without screaming while they lick the clear blobs, as baby sleeps under umbrella.
Absolutely no relaxing, reading or sleeping.
After 2 to 3 hours of playing watch dog, find all buckets and shovels strung out in sand, rinse all items, try to clean sticky sand off 2 year old who screams bloody murder as you force him in the ocean. Try not to get completely annoyed as 5 year old runs to water for the 3rd time to wash off sand, only to run back into the dry sand, and plop entire body down in it in order to put on shoes. Drag tired, crabby, hot, sandy kids back to the house for baths, dinner and maybe a night of rides on the boardwalk.

THANKFULLY I've been blessed with a wonderful family who helped out a lot. So I was not alone. Between my mom, dad, sister, and various aunts, uncles and cousins, I had some assistance with my little beach beasts! I still couldn't relax, read, or sleep. But the days were doable, and I was able to chat and enjoy the weather without pulling my hair out in complete frustration.

It will be quite a few years before I can be a Beach Bum again in Ocean City, NJ. But it's still fun with the kiddos, and I look forward to the annual summer visits with as much anticipation as always.

Monday, July 10, 2006

A break

On vacation in wonderful Ocean City, New Jersey. Spending time with family and friends. Will start posting again when I return.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

5 year old observations

Cameron just cracks me up sometimes.

After a difficult evening of continually returning Max to his bed, as Max cries out for me to lie down with him, Cameron remarked, "Mom, I know how you can get Max to stay in his bed. Get a big piece of cardboard, draw your picture on it, then cut it out and lay it next to Max. Then he'll think you're lying down with him and he'll go to sleep."

After looking out his bedroom window he commented, "Mom, in case there's a fire, we can just crawl on the little roof under my window and then wait for the tree to grow and climb down it to get to the ground."

When we let off a few small fireworks on July 4th, I noticed where Cameron had his hands and told him that he needed to go inside to use the bathroom. "No Mom, I don't have to go. I just always hold my penis when I'm excited."

More Detroit Visitors Pictures

Just some more pictures of the Detroit crowd!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

And so they came

We've lived in Minnesota for 5 years. And everytime we're in Detroit, someone tells us they're coming to visit us in the summer. Yeah, great! But we don't hold our breath. Melvin and I started saying that when we see them on our doorstep, then we'll believe them.

Well, this weekend, some of Melvin's Detroit family members were on our doorstep. Over 30 of them!!!!And although we knew they were coming, we didn't know so many were coming until later Friday afternoon. And the first group showed up 2 hours earlier than expected. Imagine my surprise as 20+ people, many I didn't recognize or know, came filing through the door. My mother-in-law said she wished she had a camera to show the look on my face. My husband had just left to do rounds at the hospital and go shopping for various supplies that we needed for the crowd (drinks, chairs, food, etc).

One might think the weekend would have been very hectic with so many people. But in actuality, it was quite relaxing for me. His family likes to BBQ and cook, so when we didn't cater in, that was taken care of. As the day and night went on, different people chipped in to clean up. The younger ones cleaned and vacuumed the movie and toyroom. And best of all, my kids were completely preoccupied. There was always someone wanting to hold Ella or run around with Cameron or goof off with Max. I could actually sit down on my new deck furniture, sip some margaritas and enjoy myself and my company.

Now don't get me wrong, I really don't want 30 people knocking on my door every weekend. I'm not one to keep such late hours as we did this past weekend. And I'm all for naps and personal downtime. But it sure was nice to have the company, and I hope people come back soon. This blogger is messed up and will only let me post 3 pictures right now, so I'll share more in a later post.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


I recently reported about Cameron's independence, and Ella's sleeping through the night. My Aunt Sylvia wanted to know if Max has had any accomplishments lately.

Oh of course he has.

Max has discovered how to remove his own diaper.

But I guess actually depositing it in the trash was too much work. Placing it next to his sandwich makes much more sense, don't ya think?